I was at an event a couple of weeks ago, an advertising event.
A lot of people I had worked with a decade ago when I was at Ogilvy were there.
Now, it's about ten years later and we have all dispersed to the four winds.
We're all working at different agencies.
By all appearances, we're doing well.
For one, we're working. Working in senior positions at blue-chip agencies.
The inevitable happened when we were all chit-chatting.
So how are things at _________?
There would be an involuntary shrug, a rolling of the eyes.
And then a glottal, 'you know, it sucks.'
My partner and I have the same conversation nearly every day.
Every day we back ourselves into the same corner.
Every place out there sucks.
Petty. Stupid. Cheap. Political. Nasty.
So what's the answer, as Bukes might ask.
Where do we go? What do we do?
Viktor Frankl had answers to these questions in his seminal book "Man's Search for Meaning."
If you haven't read it, read it.
What you have is you.
Do the best you can do. Fight the fights. Speak your mind. Ask the questions.
Don't give in to the dominant complacency of the world.
We can't always change the agency we work at.
Or our business.
And certainly not the world.
But we can be true to ourselves.
We can hold onto that.